Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pig Destroyer - Prowler in the Yard (2001)

This was the first time I ever thought to myself, "holy shit, this sounds like Slayer". Obviously Pig Destroyer do not really "sound" like Slayer, but there are definitely, without an ioda of a doubt, moments throughout this album where the guitar riffs conjure the same feeling I had decades ago when I first heard Reign in Blood. No shit. I understand that most people, including the band themselves, equate Pig Destroyer's music with grindcore, and that's all well and good. I get the estimate, but, dare I say that if you were to weed away much of the blasting here you'd have a straight up thrash metal album.

The vocals took some getting used to as I'm not particularly fond of the screaming bitch variety. After a while I chose to ignore them as best as I could as I was compelled to see my way through the labyrinthine onslaught of riffs, blasts and drum rolls. There are singular moments where the vocalist emits a rather triumphant sounding roar and I thought, "well hey now". Unfortunately, though, this is one of those guys who is generally compelled to scream over just about every conceivable rhythmic fluctuation from start to finish, thus making the enjoyment of the positive aspects of this album a chore to accomplish.

The drummer is a joy beyond measure as I can actually hear him fucking up from time to time! Imagine that. Not since Sepultura's 'Morbid Visions' have I heard a drummer skip a beat or throw in the unintentional triplet whilst galloping along in a frenzy. That's not to say that this guy sucks because, frankly, I was blown away with the lot of his accomplishments on this album. The fact that he fucks up ever so slightly now and again makes it seem as though the band recorded this album in one take, lending it a sort of "live" quality. Believe me, this is a grand endeavor in comparison to the clinical and robotic approach most death and grind bands generally favor these days.

I know that these days, over a decade after this album was released, it's sort of the "in" thing now amongst wannabe "old school death metallers" to diss and shit all over Pig Destroyer. I'm not sure how much of it has to do with the fact that the band themselves look like a squadron of chumps, but I assure you, there is a huge difference between them and your typical "core" band. As I said earlier, take away the blasts and what you have here is a bonafide thrash band, one who has a better grasp of things than most of the fags that have been emulating that style for the last few years.

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